With several top performances by the Michigan State Spartans in their win over Notre Dame. Spartan Digest honors a handful of Spartans we feel stepped forward and gave outstanding performances that helped the Spartans to their second win of the season.
TOP PERFORMANCE OFFENSE
Spartans Offensive Line – It may not have been the best performance ever from a MSU offensive line but let’s be honest. Playing several players during the game and moving pieces in and out throughout the game helped MSU give up no sacks to the Irish and a rushing attack that netted 260 yards to go with three rushing touchdowns.
TOP PERFORMANCE DEFENSE
Jon Reschke - After missing the Spartans season opener with an injury, Reschke played like an animal just let out of its cage leading all members of the defense with eight total tackles. Consider six of those tackles were solo efforts and add in a forced fumble and interception and you can see why Reschke earned top defensive performance honors. Will the Big Ten follow?
GAME BALLS OFFENSE
Tyler O'Connor - After a so-what performance in the season opener, O’Connor was solid going 19-of-26 for 241 yards and two touchdowns with only one interception. Add in another 43 yards rushing and the Lima, Ohio native played the best game to date during his career answering the question if he could do more than just hand the ball off.
Gerald Holmes - After not having a carry in the season opener Holmes made up with a 100-yard rushing performance and two touchdowns that included a 73-yard back breaker in the third quarter putting the Spartans up 36-7.
Brian Allen - Not sure how good Allen will grade out when Mark Staten breaks down the game film. But from the press box Allen looked to be firing off the line and striking with great aggression. Allen moved around the line during the game but kept playing hard on each snap.
Donnie Corley - The true freshman came up big for the first time in his Spartan career with four receptions for 88 yards and one touchdown that still has Spartan fans talking. How good can Corley be as he continues to grow? We’ll have to wait and see but right now his star is shining bright.
R.J. Shelton - With a team leading eight receptions for 80 yards and one touchdown, Shelton played a major role in the Spartans win over the Irish.
GAMES BALLS DEFENSE
Andrew Dowell - The sophomore continues to play at a high level posting four tackles including one sack. Add in the play of Reschke and Riley Bullough and the Spartans look like they have one of the top group of linebackers in college football.
Malik McDowell - When McDowell wants it he takes it and at times on Saturday night he flashed why many see him playing on Sunday’s next year. Four tackles may not seem like a lot, but McDowell was one reason Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer looked rattled at times in the third quarter.
Darian Hicks & Vayante Copeland – We’ll group the Spartans two corners together as they got picked on and never showed signs of weakness. Combined they provided six tackles and two pass break-ups. Did they play a flawless game? No! However, especially when looking at Copeland you saw Irish players making great plays with Copeland right there.